How to

Getting Started

Bushy on Lures

Once you get set up with the right tackle, and learn the basics, becoming a proficient lure fisho is just a matter of spending time on the water.

IF, as I am, you are a total fishing nut, it can be a bit hard to figure out where fishing stops and life starts. The two are pretty much intertwined for me, so I think fishing 24/7, and because I’ve been lure fishing from a fairly young age, using lures has become second nature. I just think fishing, and whether that fishing involves flies, bait or lures just doesn’t consciously register with me any more. This is not the case with a huge percentage of the fishing population – some anglers still view lures as the work of the devil and if you even mention lures the shutters come down and you are seen as some sort of purveyor of evil. Some folks just know that lures don’t actually work and the whole thing is just a big con to make money for lure companies. The sceptics do have a point, because there are some hurdles to overcome before lure fishing is a successful proposition. I think what we need here are some hurdle-removing tips that will make lure fishing work, either for you, or for someone you would like to help along the lure fishing path.

I guess that the first thing to mention is that you don’t have to be a lure fisho – it’s just kind of fun and a fairly effective way to catch fish if you work on it a bit.

Tackle is probably the thing that has stopped anglers in their tracks if they have tried to use lures and failed. Bait fishing can be quite static, but if you throw a good fresh bait somewhere that fish live, eventually a fish will find it and eat it. The tackle that you use to fish bait can be fairly agricultural but still effective. Trying to fish lures with antiquated and unbalanced tackle is next to impossible. The reasoning of a failed lure user goes something like this: I caught fish on my 30-year-old solid glass “Black Queen” rod (trust me – they are still out there!) and my 15lb line when I used bait, but when I tried my new fangled lure thingy I didn’t catch any fish, therefore lures don’t work.

The first rule of lure fishing is that lures have to go to the fish. Lure fishing is an active pastime and you need tackle that is light and easy to cast because that is what you’ll be doing a lot of. You will need to cast your lure into all sorts of places to ensure that a fish will eventually find it.

Tackle these days has never been more affordable nor more user friendly. A light spinning outfit is the way to go if you want to start a lure fishing career and the same outfit is still deadly as a bait fishing machine. An ideal outfit would combine a seven-foot (or thereabouts) rod suited to three kilo line and a small 1000 or 2500 sized “eggbeater” reel. Braided line can be a bit tricky and somewhat expensive for a learner but I still think it is the best way to go because of its versatility, strength and durability. Something with about two kilos written on the spool should be about right. Don’t be scared by this light rating because most braids rate a lot higher than they read. Don’t know exactly why but I think it is some kind of Yankee macho type thing – as in my two kilo braid is harder to break than your two kilo braid – even if it breaks at five kilos!

This outfit will be a bit deceptive because it is capable of landing quite large fish but it will be light in the hand and cast the proverbial mile. Most braid works better if you tie on a couple of metres of mono or fluorocarbon leader to the end of it. You can use a double Uni Knot to join it or learn the best knot in the world, the Slim Beauty. (Check out the Fisho website for details on these knots.)

Once a new chum has the new outfit in hand it will pay to target a species of fish that is both prolific and readily accepts lures. Nothing generates enthusiasm like success. I know in my area on southern NSW silver trevally have helped me to turn a few anglers into lure converts because they aren’t hard to find and they just love small soft plastics. Wherever you live in Australia there will be species of fish that fit into the “easier to catch” category and they are definitely the ones to chase to gain some instant gratification.

Kids haven’t really changed much over the years and if you can unplug one from his or her computer they learn really fast and soon become very competent with lures. The folks entrenched in bait fishing find the challenge a little harder sometimes, but lately I have really been happily surprised at the fun some died-in-the-wool “baitos” have been having with their “fairy” outfits and “them silly lookin’ plastic things!”

Just to sum it up: lure fishing is fun. You don’t have to spend lots of money or be a genius to make it work and once you start to catch a few fish it just gets easier. Get the right outfit and target a fish species that is easy to catch in your local area.
If you are already a competent lure angler, do your best to get a few others involved.

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